Thursday, November 11, 2010


Once a Buckeye, always a buckeye.

Last week I unexpectedly found myself in Monroe, Michigan, joining my family for the burial one of my cousins.  Donna was only 48, and it was a strong call for family bonding. Of course it was sad that our reunion was for a funeral, but we are family and being together helped ease the grief a little.

My oldest brother, Jay, came into the house, showed me a bag full of buckeyes, and asked me if I'd collected any.  The fact was, I'd forgotten all about buckeyes.  We weren't in Ohio, the Buckeye State, we were in Michigan! What would make me seek out buckeyes?  The funny thing was, as soon as I saw Jay's buckeyes I walked straight down to the river bank looking for the tree.  I have carried a buckeye in my purse 'for luck' since the last time we had a family reunion, in 2004, for my nephew's wedding in Chicago.  (My brother doesn't miss a buckeye tree!) As kids in Ohio, we collected buckeyes like dutiful little squirrels every autumn.  I remember making leis out of them, but mostly I remember how much fun we had collecting them. 

After I collected a new batch of buckeyes, for what purpose I had no idea, I started looking at the buckeye with renewed interest.  So what CAN you do with a bag of buckeyes?  And why do we feel compelled to collect them?  All I know is Jay hand carried his bag to Houston,  promptly filled a vase with the worthless seeds and proudly put them on display.  Now that I'm home in Mérida, my new collection is in a glass bowl in my 'china cabinet'.  I'm thinking if I meet someone down on their luck, I can help them out with a LUCKY BUCKEYE!

For those of you who are not familiar with the buckeye and wonder why we Ohioans are so quick to relate to each other simply because we're Buckeyes, collect and display the worthless seeds, support sports teams JUST because they're called Buckeyes, among other slightly odd is some information for you.  It just goes to show, you can learn something new every day.  Maybe not something earthshattering or life changing, but it's something.  Buckeyes are symbols of SURVIVAL.  Being a survivor, I like having buckeyes around.  Below are a couple photos I took of my new bucks, and a bit of history I found online about them.

From Wikipedia,
Buckeye may refer to:

Several tree species of the genus Aesculus

  • A person from the "buckeye state" (Ohio).
  • Ohio State Buckeyes, the intercollegiate athletic teams of The Ohio State University
  • Buckeye (chicken), a breed of chicken originating in Ohio
  • Butterflies in the genus Junonia
  • T-2 Buckeye, an aircraft
  • Buckeyes, the athletic teams of Nelsonville-York High School
  • Buckeye, a named passenger train operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad between Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Buckeye (butterfly), a butterfly found in the United States and Canada
  • Buckeye candy (a.k.a. Buckeyes), a peanut butter and chocolate candy made to resemble the nut of a buckeye tree
  • Buckeye band (a.k.a. BUCKEYE), a pop/rock recording band with Polydor Records founded in Ohio during the 1970's
Places in the United States
  • Buckeye, Arizona
  • Buckeye, Colorado
  • Buckeye, Indiana
  • Buckeye, Iowa
  • Buckeye, Kansas
  • Buckeye, Kentucky
  • Buckeye Township, Stephenson County, Illinois
  • Buckeye Township, Michigan
  • Buckeye, New Mexico

Fictional characters:  Nathan "Buckeye" Heywood or Citizen Steel, a DC Comics character
Buckeye Trail, a long-distance trail in Ohio

Buckeye Steel Castings, a former steelmaker in Columbus, Ohio

Buckeye Division or 37th Infantry Division, a division of the US Army

Buckeye Pipe Line

Buckeye CableSystem cable company

Buckeye coupler, a type of railway coupling used to connect locomotives and rolling-stock

For more than you ever wanted to know about buckeyes, click here.


norm said...

The history books say that people made bathtubs out of the trunks back in the day. I have one about 4 feet thick at my Ashtabua Harbor rehab project house-it will make a fine outdoor bathtub one of these days...

CoCo Harris said...

I'm sorry to hear of your cousin condolences Lin.
What an interesting story of homecoming.
You are a Survivor and I'm sure always a buckeye...

Anonymous said...

What is a Buckeye? A worthless nut. It's only good for growing a new buckeye tree. From one buckeye to another.

Love ya.

Bob S.

2ericc said...

In western NY we call buckeyes horse chestnuts ("horse" meaning bogus), and some of us wonder what's wrong with those folks from Ohio (one of whom I've married) who continue to pick up those nuts (like she picked up me). Full disclosure: I pick them up, too.

The REAL American Chestnut was edible, feeding most of the colonial American populace, livestock and wildlife, until it was wiped out by mid century (1950's) due to an imported affliction from the east. And the timber was amazing, being rot resistant, pest resistant, and huge.

Said nut is different from the (baking) Euro chestnut which is a rather bushy tree, sometimes made into an inferior flour, and even a pastry filling.

But the buckeye is mostly useless as a nut. However, I wonder if the timber might be of interest here, as I suspect termites would not feast on it, it being toxic. It might make pest-resistant furniture for the Yucatecan market. Maybe plant some to learn if they can take the heat. They grow fast. And then you could pick them up on home turf. ¡Luego!


Anonymous said...

They look a lot like conkers.

Beryl Gorbman said...

Horse chestnuts in New York. I used to pick them up when I was a kid. I love the way they feel. They ought to be good for SOMETHING. Maybe if you shell them, crush the insides, add it to flour, eggs, etc. fry the patties, you could have buckeye burgers.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Lin...brings back memories. You may recall my mom was a buckeye and when I was about 7 and had to do a report she helped me and gave me a REAL buckeye to glue to the report...I loved that buckeye. I found the yellowed report in the house when we cleared it out after dad died, but all there was left was the little blob of glue where it had been. Made me a little sad. I'm sorry about the loss of your cousin.
Deb. A.

Linda Dorton said...

20 November

My friend Julia is missing her cat ALSO. In our searches, we each had new info to share today, so she stopped by for the updates. When Julia was leaving, I remembered she's from Ohio so I asked her if she needed a LUCKY BUCKEYE. She just smiled, opened her purse, and said excitedly, "NO! No need! I have my lucky buckeye right here!"

Then we proceeded to tell our non-Ohioan friend our worthless nut stories and the pride that goes with them. What can I say? Once a buckeye, always a buckeye.

Linda Dorton said...

It was a pleasure to meet you and your Buckeye wife May. I'm sorry I didn't make the rest of the conference, but I got a good photo of our buckeye conversation and it means a lot to me.